Finding a Home in Tallinn

Useful information

This overview will give you a first glimpse of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia: of its different neighborhoods as well as the general practical questions related to living in Tallinn and renting property.
More detailed information about Tallinn districts is available as a PDF


Location: Tallinn is the capital city of Estonia, located on the coastline of the Baltic sea in North-Estonia, in Harju County (Estonia consists of 15 counties)
Territory: 159,2 km
Population: 424 000 people
Population density: 2699 people/km Ethnic composition: 53% Estonians; 38% Russians; 3,7% Ukrainians; 5,7% other.
Average size of household: 2,2 people
Educational level of population: 35,4% with university degree.
Income: Average monthly gross wage in Tallinn is 1242 € (I st quarter of 2018). Minimum wage in Estonia is 500 €.
Recorded criminal offences per 1 000 people: 3,9%
Public transportation within Tallinn: buses, trolleys, tramlines, train. Additional information on routes, times, fares can be found on the Tallinn website Also Google Maps is a good resource for transportation planning.
Healthcare: 4 public and 5 private hospitals, policlinics and family doctors in all districts, pharmacies in most supermarkets.


Tallinn is divided into 8 districts: Kesklinn (Central town), Pirita, Lasnamäe, Nõmme, Mustamäe, Kristiine, Põhja-Tallinn and Haabersti, each administered by local city government office. The districts are furthermore divided into subdistricts, that all have their own nature, character and function.


(28 km², 55000 inhabitants)

Central Tallinn has multiple faces: the historical Old Town (Vanalinn) with its medieval houses and cobble-stone streets; business area with hotels, banks and corporate buildings as well as residential areas with both new apartment buildings and romantic wooden houses.

For a Tallinner, the centre is the place for nightlife, entertainment and restaurants as well as for administrative errands. You will find most of the administrative offices and ministries, theaters, cultural centres, churches, bigger libraries and museums, shopping centres and hotels in Central Tallinn. A big percentage of Tallinn’s topschools are also located in the central area.

Living in central Tallinn
A large number of foreigners in Tallinn are living in the city centre. Living in the centre definitely has its pros and cons. On one hand side, you are close to everything, the atmosphere is international and you’ll get by with English at almost everywhere you go. On the other hand, it is slightly noisier and not so green (especially living in the Old Town) and parking in central area is a paid service.

Connection with public transportation is good, but the Old Town is mainly for pedestrians only.

Due to closeness to everywhere, rental-and sales prices in central Tallinn are higher compared to the rest of the city. Renovated 2-room (with 1 bedroom) apartments in the area vary between 550-800€/month. Luxury apartments can also go for much higher. Many of the apartments in the area are rented out through private connections, as the demand for nice homes in Kesklinn area is high.


(18,7 km², 17 500 inhabitants)

Pirita is a quiet seaside area with mainly private houses or apartment buildings with gardens. The area is lined with a 2 km sandy Pirita beach, pine parks with running-and ski tracks and a yacht-harbor at the estuary of the Pirita river. Besides that, there is a bigger sports centre for tennis and swimming and outdoor establishments for trekking and football.

Living in Pirita
The general atmosphere in Pirita is calm and it is perfect for families with children or with fans of quiet and quick access to nature. The area hosts biking and walking routes. The downside of the area is that it takes a while to get to the centre. Pirita and its neighborhoods have bus connections to the centre. Many people drive to work by car regularly, which also causes traffic jams during rush hours.

One downside to be considered by families with children is that Pirita does not have too many options for schooling and most children go to school or kindergarten in the centre or surrounding neighborhoods.

Real-estate prices in Pirita are close to the prices in Central Tallinn (2-room apartments for 500-750€/month) due to the calm and secure atmosphere of the district. Additionally, there are some apartment buildings just on the seafront that have a view to the sea and the prices in these buildings are much higher.


(30 km², 18 700 inhabitants)

Lasnamäe is the biggest district in Tallinn. Lasnamäe can be divided into two main parts by their function: residential and industrial areas. Most of Lasnamäe consists of 5- to 18-storied panel houses built during the 1960-1980s, but some parts of the district have also been recently developed with newer apartment buildings and nice park areas. The Ülemiste subdistrict is a vastly developing business area. There are many bigger shopping centres, sports establishments and stadiums in Lasnamäe. The Estonian Art Museum KUMU is situated just on the border of Lasnamäe and Central Tallinn.

Approximately 60% of Lasnamäe’s population is of Russian ethnicity. Because of that there is a number of Russian schools and kindergartens in the area. In 2013 a new Orthodox church was also established in the district.

Living in Lasnamäe
A large part of Lasnamäe still reminds of the Soviet Union - with the tall grey panel buildings. For an English-speaker Lasnamäe may not be the best of options as getting assistance in English at shops or other service providers may not be as easy as in the centre.

Due to the district’s main function being a residential area it of course has all the commodities and establishments that a residential area needs - schools, kindergartens, sports halls, shops. But most of the kindergartens and schools are for Russian-speakers.

Most of Lasnamäe is connected to the centre by buses, but tram connection with centre is available in the Sikupilli subdistrict.

Real-estate prices in Lasnamäe are lower, with 2-room apartments ranging between 400-550€/month, but in newer developments they can range up to around 700 €/month.


(9,4km², 31000 inhabitants)

Kristiine is a versatile district, that includes private residential area, more densely populated apartment building regions and business-and industrial area. There are shopping malls, sports establishments (Tallinn’s biggest football stadium), but also some café's and restaurants in this area.

Living in Kristiine
As already mentioned, Kristiine’s subdistricts differ a lot from each other.

Tondi is a business neighborhood with more apartment buildings, whereas Järve has also plenty of private houses. Lilleküla is a mixture of both – some quiet streets with gardens and individual family homes and some more busy older or newer apartment buildings.

Kristiine is well-linked with the rest of the town. There are bus, trolley and tram connections. Järve and Tondi are even on the train route.

Kristiine is a rather green area, taken into consideration its closeness to the centre – there are some parks and in general the atmosphere is tranquil.

Real-estate prices in Kristiine are slightly lower than in the centre. Renovated 2-room apartments are approximately between 450-700€/month.


(17,3 km², 58600 inhabitants)

Põhja-Tallinn (or North Tallinn) runs along the coastline. The district is divided into 3 historically, culturally and socially different areas: Kalamaja, Kopli and Pelgulinn.

Living in Põhja-Tallinn
For a foreigner by far the best part of Põhja-Tallinn would be Kalamaja – it is close to the centre and also rather calm, but with different options of activities and eating out, Kopli and Pelgulinn may turn out to be not the best options for English-speakers to get around.

About 45% of the habitants in Põhja-Tallinn are Russian speaking (mainly in Kopli and Pelgulinn) and thus there are quite many Russian schools and kindergartens in the area.

The area has trolley, tram and bus connection to the centre. Tallinn’s main train station Balti Jaam and also the Balti Jaam farmer’s market is located on the border of Old Town and Kalamaja.

Real-estate prices in Põhja-Tallinn vary a lot, depending on the closeness to the centre. In Pelgulinn and Kopli the prices for renovated 2-room apartments start from 450 €. In Kalamaja the prices are definitely higher and start from around 600€ and go up. The new developments on the seafront are definitely pricier.


(28 km², 39500 inhabitants)

Nõmme is probably the greenest district in Tallinn, generally consisting of private houses. Nõmme is mainly a residential area with some sports facilities, shopping centres, bigger parks and some pubs and restaurants.

Until 1930s, the area was actually a separate small town, but nowadays it is a green and quiet part of Tallinn.

Living in Nõmme
As Nõmme is a quieter area, majority of the residents are families with children or older people.

Sometimes it is joked that Tallinners who love nature are generally divided into two: seaside lovers are in Pirita and forest-lovers gather to Nõmme.

The green atmosphere definitely offers possibilities for activities: cycling, running, cross-country skiing, disc-golf and much more.

Transportation to Nõmme is quite good, it is connected to the centre by bus and train.

While Nõmme may sound like a perfect place to live, vacant apartments can be quite difficult to find. The number of apartment buildings is not so big, and the few existing apartments are not easily rented out. Instead of an apartment, it is easier to rent an entire house or a part of a house. 2-room apartments in Nõmme can be found for approximately 500€-650€/month.


(8 km², 65800 inhabitants)

Mustamäe is a district further east from Kristiine. It mainly consists of residential area covered by Soviet-era panel buildings, but also of science- and Business Park Tehnopol (with Tallinn Technology University and IT college) and Kadaka industrial area.

Living in Mustamäe
About 35% of Mustamäe’s habitants are Russian speaking, but besides them and the larger number of Estonian-speakers, there is quite a large number of English-speakers in the area as well due to the Tallinn Technology University being located there. And there are numerous international students and professors living near it.

Since being rather densely populated, many schools, kindergartens and shopping malls are located in the district. There are opportunities for sports both indoor in sports clubs and outside in some of the parks.

North-Estonian Regional Hospital’s main division, children’s hospital and some polyclinics are also located in Mustamäe.
The district is linked with the centre through bus- and trolley connection and it takes about 20-30 minutes to get to the centre by public transportation (approximately 15 by car, depending on the time of the day).

Most of the 5- or 9- storied buildings in Mustamäe were built in the 1960-s and 1970-s, but in Kadaka subdistrict there are also some newer developments.

Real-estate prices are lower than in the centre. 2-room apartments are available for approximately 450-550 €/ month.


(18,6 km², 43700 inhabitants)

Haabersti is a versatile district along the seaside, that consists of apartment- and private house residential areas.

The sub districts closer to Mustamäe are made up of 5-, 9- and 18-storied panel buildings from the 1970s, but when moving to Rocca al Mare, Kakumäe or Tiskre, you will reach newer suburbs of private houses.

Living in Haabersti
Haabersti offers many options for sports: different sports clubs, skating rink, equestrian centre, running-and cycling tracks and spending time outdoors in the Tallinn Zoo or the Estonian Open-Air Museum. The area also has one of the biggest shopping malls in the Baltics (Rocca al Mare shopping centre) and Tallinn’s biggest concert hall (Saku Suurhall). One of Tallinn’s sandy beaches is also located in Kakumäe.

Haabersti is connected with the centre with bus-and trolley routes. When commuting to work from further parts of the district (Tiskre, Kakumäe), traffic jams need to be considered with at rush hours.

Real-estate prices for 2-room apartments vary between 400-700€/month, depending on the area (seaside or Väike-Õismäe) and age of the building.

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